I took a private tour of Lisbon with a poet. She was intriguing and lovely, and all that. It was the best fifty bucks I’ve ever spent. We read poems aloud from Portuguese writers and took walks around corners of the city barely changed for centuries. At its best, poetry captures something eternal. Love is, of course, the most obvious subject immune to the whims of time. So we spoke of love.
She told me about her book, said she has been working on it for 7 years. She said,
It’s a story of two people falling in love
She said it is a story about the water, so she is traveling to the New Mexico desert to finish it.
(Thoughts: Maybe love needs to dry out in the sun to finish the story. Maybe new romance is a resilient succulent in unfriendly weather. Maybe I am molding/modeling something out of clay. Maybe I am wearing something away with time, sand, and wind. Maybe you are the last of my lessons, a polishing clean. Maybe I am already a resilient thing, built to withstand the heat.)
I asked her,
Are you in love?
Who are you in love with?
With a man.
(Thoughts: When I told the story of the tour to The Stranger he said, “That sounds like a date” and I said “I know, I was a bit nervous we would fall in love, but instead we just talked about it.”)
How long have you known him?
(Thoughts: Which was an indirect way for me to say, I am guessing it isn’t the same man who inspired the book. The energy when she said yes had that excitement to it of something new. The way she told me her book was a story of two people falling in love had the echo of something distant but gorgeous, of a sigh falling against a velvet curtain. )
Since the beginning of May or the end?
Since the end, why?
What day did you meet your love, exactly?
Hah! Because I met —- on the 28th
Oh wow, I love coincidences like that!
When did you two become exclusive?
It just happened naturally. It wasn’t hard. I mean, I have had sex with millions of people, there were times I was hooking up with everything around me.
Same. Same to both, actually. Though I don’t know if he realized. Once he kissed me, there was no one else. I went on dates but nothing happened, I kept telling myself to keep my options open but, my heart had already made the decision. When did you say you loved him?
He told me the first time we had sex. He just said, “This is how I feel, you don’t have do anything with it but this is what it is.” When did you tell —-?
I haven’t, yet.